See all the features of the Hyundai Santa Cruz’s tiny truck bed, from built-in steps to hidden cubbies

Hyundai’s charming new pickup, the 2022 Santa Cruz, has the smallest loading area of ​​any truck that can be bought new in the United States today.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



Read the full Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022 insider review here.

It’s at least a foot shorter than the bed on midsize trucks like the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.



And it’s a few inches shorter than the bed of the upcoming Ford Maverick, which will be the Santa Cruz’s only direct competitor when it hits driveways in early 2022.

2022 Ford Maverick pickup truck
2022 Ford Maverick.



But that doesn’t mean the Santa Cruz isn’t useful. His surprisingly versatile bed is perfect for weekend adventures and all of the gear that powers it like bikes, backpacks, tents, beach chairs – and probably a surfboard if you try hard enough.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



The company added many thoughtful details – both standard and optional – that make the most of the Santa Cruz’s four-foot bed. Most can be found in other trucks, but that doesn’t make them any less practical.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



Hyundai gave the Santa Cruz a dampened tailgate – a kind of truck equivalent of a gently closing kitchen cupboard. It gently descends to the open position instead of just falling.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



The inside of the tailgate has a couple of notches for drinks.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



Inside the bed there are small shelves on both sides.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



These are great for all those odds and ends that inevitably end up in bed but don’t want to hop around.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



A household power outlet is optional and can be useful for charging a phone or powering some lights or speakers.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



There is also a bonus loading bin under the bed.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



It’s not particularly big or deep, but it’s the right size for a couple of backpacks. It’s a convenient place for things that you want to lock away and protect from the elements.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



It has a drain plug so you can hose it down or fill it with ice and use it as a portable cooler.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



Santa Cruz models with a top panel come with a lockable tarpaulin (the industry calls for a duvet).

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



It unfolds like a roller blind and makes the bed of the Santa Cruz usable like a normal, weatherproof trunk.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



It can also be partially opened so that you can reach into bed or peek out a particularly long piece of luggage.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



A few steps are neatly built into the bumper to reach into the bed.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



The bed also has a couple of lights – a couple on the walls and one that points down from the roof.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.



That’s all neat. But you might be wondering: does the Santa Cruz have what it takes for the simplest trucking job of moving big things?

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



While its size is clearly limited, the Santa Cruz’s bed has all of the expected features to make moving large things easier, along with some smarter touches.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.



There’s no shortage of attachment points for securing equipment and supplies, including multiple D-rings for hanging bungees.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



And there are a pair of rails with adjustable lashing points.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup.



Four slots punched in the bed are designed to accommodate 2×4 or 2×6 boards. This allows owners to create a second, upper level for loading things.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz pickup.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.



The Ford Maverick has a similar function, but has a lot more slots for wood.

2022 Ford Maverick pickup truck
The 2022 Ford Maverick.



While the Santa Cruz is undoubtedly more suitable for recreational use, Hyundai has made sure that it can accommodate long, wide objects such as sheets of plywood in an emergency.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.



To do this, put the tailgate in a mid-position between open and closed. Then you can put sheets of plywood over the tailgate and specially made grooves on the back of the bed.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz.



Sure, many of these features are available in other pickups. And clearly, if utility is your top priority and parking isn’t an issue, you may be better off with something bigger.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz bed.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



But the Santa Cruz’s city-friendly footprint, starting price of $ 24,000, and surprisingly usable bed make it a very attractive package for the right type of buyer.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Pickup.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022.



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